Football’s Festive Featurettes: A Welsh love story ‘Actually’

The quintessential Christmas advertisement has become as much a part of the festive ritual as a tree decorated in lights or a wreath hanging on the front door.

 Each year without fail, the British public wait with baited breath for the John Lewis commercial to make its debut and more recently, football and other sporting clubs have hopped on the bandwagon, producing their own festive featurettes.

Insider Sport is looking back at past Christmas campaigns produced by football clubs to market their merchandise stores in the run up to the big day.

Last year, Swansea City got football fans talking after releasing a festive trailer featuring the Championship club’s mascot, Cyril the Swan.

In the beginning, a downcast Cyril wakes up and, after attempting to drink his morning brew from a Swansea-branded mug but finding his beak is awkwardly misshaped, goes for a stroll in the park. He takes an ironic ride in a swan-shaped pedalo on the pond, surrounded by birds floating on the surface of the water.

Overcome by a serious case of the Christmas blues, the mascot turns up at the Liberty Stadium to carry out his matchday duties and out of the corner of his eye, spots a new, female swan mascot laughing and joking with the Swans’ ambassador, Lee Trundle.

It appears as though Cyril has taken a shine to his bird-like counterpart but back at home, watching the Swansea highlights from his Swans-themed living room, a wallowing Cyril looks nostalgically over old photographs pinned to the wall.

He decides to take an evening trip to Trundle’s home, where the youth coach and the female swan are stretched out with their feet up on the couch.

Cyril knocks on the door and as Trundle answers, he holds up a placard that reads ‘Say it’s carol singers’, re-enacting the famous scene from the Christmas classic, Love Actually.

He follows the script and sets the tape recorder going. taking on the role of Keira Knightley. He brandishes another sign saying, ‘To me, you are perfect… even when you looked like this’, before holding up a photograph of a slightly longer-haired Trundle.

Trundle chases down the street after him, as Keira did with Andrew Lincoln in the movie, gives him a hug and says “let’s go for that kickabout” as the two wander off into the night.

‘A Christmas Cyril’ is somewhat of a cinematic parody of the hit romantic comedy, but it doesn’t fail to raise a smile – it’s guaranteed to get even the grumpiest Grinch into the festive spirit.

Fans, who seemed to enjoy the advert, praised Trundle for maintaining his composure throughout the filming and it certainly didn’t damage Cyril’s profile, either!